Crane, Ind. - Crane Army Ammunition Activity recently completed a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt project designed to address visual output variation of 120mm illumination candles.

The project sought to reduce day to day variation seen in the visual light output of 120mm illumination candles tested here at the U.S. Navy Light Tunnel. The project looked only at factors of the light tunnel and did not address sources of variation from the production process itself.

According to the project's team lead and CAAA Supervisory Continuous Improvement Specialist Lara Zilafro, after data collection and analysis, it was determined that environmental conditions (weather) on the test day played a significant role in the day to day output variation. To minimize this variation, testing was limited to certain environmental conditions. This resulted in a reduction of the failure rate to 0.51 percent. The success of the improvements on the 120mm candle testing was quickly replicated to 81mm candles and 155mm candles.

She said, "The project, when it was finished, was a great success because the goals were met and kept on schedule. The failure rate was reduced by 84 percent and the day-to-day variation was reduced by 39 percent. In the end, the project resulted in approximately $953,000 cost avoidance for fiscal year 2009."

Zilafro said the team assembled to carry out the project consisted of seven members, made up of personnel from CAAA Pyrotechnics program and Navy personnel.

CAAA was established in Oct. 1977 and is a tenant of the Navy Region Midwest, Naval Support Activity Crane. The Army activity maintains ordnance professionals and infrastructure to receive, store, ship, produce, renovate and demilitarize conventional ammunition, missiles and related components.

Page last updated Tue April 28th, 2009 at 08:01